The Venezuelan government is apparently accepting Bitcoin for passports of citizens outside the country
Apparently, the Venezuelan government is accepting bitcoin as payment for new passports for citizens outside the country.
In fact, a screenshot has been published on Reddit: on the page where it is possible to make the payment, on the website of the Administrative Service of Identification, Migration and Aliens (SAIME) of Venezuela, the option “pay with Bitcoin” has appeared.
Venezuela government is officially taking bitcoin as payment for passports. from r / Bitcoin
SAIME is the government office that issues passports, identity cards for immigrants and other legal documents related to nationality for Venezuelan citizens and residents.
The user who posted the screenshot explained that he took it from his brother's computer while helping him complete the bitcoin payment on saime.gob.ve as he was unable to pay by credit card.
In fact, credit card payments are temporarily suspended due to international sanctions against the country.
However, the head of the press office of the Sunacrip government, Marbellis Linares, has declared via Twitter that this would be a fake news, despite the fact that another source also reported an identical screenshot.
In particular, CryptoNews tried to generate a passport extension request, again on the website saime.gob.ve, using the consular office in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and the system showed bitcoin as a payment option in exactly the same way as Reddit user iguano80.
After selecting bitcoin as the payment method, the system displayed the following message:
"Dear user, you have selected the payment of cryptocurrencies, please note that you will only have 8 minutes to complete the transaction, so we recommend that you have your payment method ready to process it easily without any problem."
However, CryptoNews also reported that a few hours later, SAIME website disabled bitcoin payment option, while leaving the inactive link "Pay with Bitcoin" visible.
Instead, the system would have displayed this other message:
"The payment platform is temporarily out of service."
The payment gateway used was the decentralized open source platform BTCpay ServerGiven that due to US sanctions, payment processors like Bitpay do not agree to operate on behalf of the Venezuelan government.
The credit card payment option is supposed to never be activated, so the only other alternatives would be to use cryptocurrencies.
Specifically, these are payments from abroad and are therefore subject to international restrictions.
The one shown in the screenshots above could have been a test.